- For projection mapping, you just need a subject, a good tool, and a bit of patience to learn the ropes.
- Video mapping can be used to create exciting and interactive projects like holograms.
- Just like 3D printing, video mapping has a bright future, real-time face tracking being just an example.
- Visit our Video hub to find the right software that will help you create quality video content.
Video mapping, also known as projection mapping or spatial augmented reality, refers to projection technology used to transform or turn objects into display surfaces for projecting videos.
Simply put, it is projection of visual animations on objects or other elements of architecture, like what you see in outdoor events like concerts, parties or major shows, and even gaming.
Such objects can be buildings or other industrial landscapes which are often irregularly shaped. So, using the best software for video mapping spatially maps a two or three-dimensional object onto the virtual program, which in turn apes the real environment it will be projected onto.
Artists and advertisers use projection mapping software to add extra dimensions, notions of movement, or even optical illusions to objects that are or were previously static, to create an audio-visual kind of narrative.
They do this in two phases: manufacturing, where the scenario, modeling, motion graphics, video editing and other processes are created, and then the production phase that adds elements like software, cabling and installation among others.
So, what are the best software solutions for video projection mapping to use with your PC? Check out our top picks below.
What are the best software tools for video mapping?
Adobe Premiere Pro is a software tool well known for its great video editing features and because it can handle pretty much all of the editing you may need.
You can also use this one for creating video mapping. Moreover, with Premiere Pro, you can edit footage in any format, from 8K to virtual reality.
The software can work with any file format you have, no matter it came from your phone or from a professional camera. The lightweight proxy workflows and faster ProRes HDR let you work the way you want with your media, even on mobile workstations.
With Adobe Premiere Pro is relatively easy to map simple shapes and to create a linear timeline. Thus, it is a good choice, no matter if you are new or already a professional in the industry.
Adobe Premiere Pro
The industry-leading video editing software, Adobe Premiere Pro is a great tool to have for video mapping projects.
Adobe After Effects is another great software, part of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite’s tool. It is capable of producing stunning works of visual art and is the video industry standard for visual effects and motion graphics.
This software can be used successfully as mapping software and functions fairly well in relation to creating masks, shapes, manipulating clips, etc.
Its new feature, 3D Transform Gizmo, allows you to scale, position, and rotate 3D layers. This multifunctional gizmo offers more power when navigating 3D due to the visual guides and multiple modes.
There are many great free or paid plugins for camera projection mapping and photo parallax animation. Adobe After Effects allows you to install them.
Adobe After Effects
With After Effects you can take any idea and make it move. That’s why this software is perfect for video mapping.
MadMapper is probably the best video mapping software tool, thanks to its simplicity. It can be used on the go. Furthermore, the application is powerful, yet versatile, which makes it the ultimate video mapping tool.
With MadMapper, you can map unlimited number of videos on any real life surface with as many projectors your graphic card can handle.
You can also control LED arrays when light mapping, in real-time, and feed these with video content or generative materials, plus control moving lights with pixel content.
MadMapper is backed by a big community so they keep updating the software constantly, which is why it has new features such as a Dark User Interface, live editor to code your own materials and an online library to share the materials.
It also features the miniMAD hardware companion which now controls the light, with automatic network synchronization for multi-projection, and DMX output to control lighting equipment.
Other salient features include an ultra-fast video player, multiple inputs, masking, video effects, mesh warping, 3D Calibration and lighting, soft edge, spatial scanner, LED mapping and much more.
You can use MadMapper software for architectural video mapping, art installation, stage design and live shows.
If you want video mapping but your project needs a lot more, Isadora is the best software for video mapping you can use.
This tool works well with artists, designers, and performers who want to add video and interactive media to their projects, as it combines a media server, visual programming environment and powerful video/audio processing engine for an interactive media playback.
You can create stunning effects in real-time in a user-friendly and easy to learn and use platform, which features 8 HD video playback channels, unlimited video layers, 6 independent video projector outputs, integrated video mapping tool, 4 live camera feeds, custom effects via Open GLSL, built-in video tracking, low latency response to real-time output, and so much more.
One of the great things about it is it lets you generate customization sequences fast, but it is held back by its learning curve and playback performance which reduces frame rates for non-optimized projects.
Mapio is the best software for video mapping if you want to create projection shows, as it not only lets you use a standard screen, but also any inclines like cylindrical and spherical shapes, among others.
Its key features include Spout (Windows) support, two app modes as a plugin or stand-alone app, solid color or gradient for slice, capture broadcasting video streams, snapshots, importing 3D file format support, editable vectors and image masks, tools for splitting masks and slices, edge blending, advanced warping Bezier tool, and so much more.
You can also use undo unlimited times, copy and paste slices or masks, and auto save and recover your project after a crash.
TouchDesigner is a visual programming environment for PC that is free but not for commercial use.
The video mapping software solution gives you tools needed to create stunning, real-time video mapping projects with rich user experiences, whether it’s architectural projections, rapid-prototyping, or interactive media systems.
For video mapping, you can make custom solutions for each project as now two setups are similar.
TouchDesigner’s suit of features and open customization makes each project possible, with multiple solutions to tackle every job, whether small or large in ways that fit each scenario and budget.
Features include tight integration with real-time 3D engine for complete pre-visualization, support for different projection formats for mapping, dome, VR, stitching and environment lights.
The stoner tool is useful for keystoning, grid mesh warping and masking, while the Kantan Mapper helps with 2D mapping and masking which includes Bezier and freeform shapes.
3D is usually the most challenging bit, so TouchDesigner’s CamSchnappr tool for 3D model based projection alignment and calibration comes in handy.
It also supports third party apps like Vioso and Scalable Display’s auto-mapping calibration tools.
Did your favorite video mapping software tool make the list? Don’t hesitate to share with us your thoughts and experiences by leaving a comment in the section below.